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What is teniposide?

Teniposide (also called VM-26 or Vumon®) is an anticancer medicine. It is a clear liquid given by vein (IV).

Teniposide can pose a health hazard to caregivers. All caregivers should take safety precautions while giving this drug. For 48 hours after this drug is given, the patient’s body fluids can contain the drug. During that 48-hour period, caregivers should follow safety guidelines when handling the patient’s vomit, blood, urine, and bowel movements, including diapers. These guidelines include wearing gloves when cleaning up body fluids. For a complete list of safety precautions, see “Do you know… Protecting caregivers from drug hazards.”

Possible side effects of teniposide


  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Allergic reaction with these symptoms: flushed skin, skin rash, itching, swelling of face, low or high blood pressure, coughing, short of breath, fever, chills, stuffy nose, sneezing, and chest pain

Later (usually more than a day after treatment starts)

  • Low blood counts with higher risk of infection, bleeding, anemia, and tired feeling
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth or lip sores
  • Hair loss
  • Rash
  • Hands or feet feel numb or tingle
  • Temporary changes in liver function
  • Feeling sleepy and unusually tired

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist at 595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for teniposide

  • Your blood pressure will be checked before and after you receive teniposide because the medicine can cause changes in blood pressure.
  • A nurse will watch you for at least one (1) hour after you receive teniposide for signs of an allergic reaction. Tell the nurse if you have any of the allergic reaction symptoms listed above. The nurse can give you medicines to help stop the reaction. Also, the nurse may give you the rest of the teniposide more slowly to help prevent further reaction.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).